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  • Writer's pictureAzuay Esteban

Celebrating Unity and Diversity: International Theater Day 2024 at the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts

The Legacy lives on! Feliz Día Internacional del Teatro.


In the heart of Los Angeles, where the vibrant tapestry of cultures weaves stories of heritage, diversity, and unity, the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts (BFA) stands as a testament to the power of bilingual theater. As we celebrate International Theater Day this 2024, our foundation finds a deep resonance with this year’s message by Jon Fosse, "Art Is Peace," illuminating the intrinsic value of theater in bridging gaps and fostering understanding across the myriad of human experiences.


International Theater Day, observed annually on March 27, was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) to honor the art form of theater, bringing to light the significant role it plays in promoting social and cultural understanding. Over the decades, this celebration has transcended borders, becoming a global observance that underscores the unifying power of theater. Each year, a figure of outstanding merit in theater shares their reflections on the theme of Theater and a Culture of Peace, echoing the essence of theater as a medium for dialogue and mutual respect.

The message for International Theater Day 2024, "Art Is Peace" by Jon Fosse, delves into the core of what makes us human—our uniqueness and our fundamental similarities. Fosse eloquently navigates the paradox of our individuality and our collective human spirit, emphasizing that while each person is distinct, art, and specifically theater, has the sublime capacity to unite us by showcasing our differences as universal truths. This message speaks volumes to our mission at the BFA, where we have been championing the richness of Hispanic culture and the beauty of bilingual expression for over five decades.

Founded by the visionary Carmen Zapata, Margarita Galban, and Estela Scarlata, the BFA has been a beacon of creativity and empowerment, producing over 265 productions that reflect the dynamic spectrum of Latino culture. Our commitment to nurturing the talents of Latino artists and presenting works that resonate with diverse audiences remains unwavering. As we celebrate International Theater Day, we are reminded of the transformative power of theater—to enlighten, to unite, and to heal.

"Jon Fosse's reflection on the essence of art as a peacemaker aligns with our foundational belief in the arts as a vehicle for peace and understanding. Theater, with its unique ability to present the specificities of individual and collective stories, invites us to embrace our differences not as divides but as bridges to deeper connections. It challenges the notion of the 'other' by revealing the universal themes of humanity embedded in our diverse narratives.


This International Theater Day, let us reflect on the role of theater and art in our lives as instruments of peace and unity. At the BFA, we continue to uphold the vision of our founders, striving to create a permanent artistic home that enriches the cultural landscape and fosters a community where every voice is heard, and every story is valued.


As we embark on this journey together, we invite you to join us in celebrating the profound impact of theater on our lives and our societies. Through the lens of bilingual theater, we explore the depths of human experience, bridging languages, cultures, and hearts. Let us gather to honor the beauty of our differences and the strength of our shared humanity, for, in the words of Jon Fosse, "Art is peace."


Together, on International Theater Day and beyond, we reaffirm our commitment to peace, understanding, and the enduring power of art to unite us all.


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